Dialogue can open us up to others, but we need to stay rooted in the truth in the process.
Dialogue is an essential part of being a Christian and is the path to lasting reconciliation and peace. This is something that Pope Francis has stressed during his pontificate and repeatedly points to in his homilies and encyclicals.
St. John Paul II knew this reality as well and spoke about it in an apostolic visit to New Zealand in 1986. While there he explained the importance of dialogue, especially in a country with such a diverse culture.
“Dialogue is yet another way towards reconciliation and peace, that dialogue of faith which proceeds from a deep respect for others and a confidence in the ultimate victory of truth. In order that genuine dialogue may take place, ‘we must all apply to ourselves the word of God; we must relinquish our own subjective views and seek the truth where it is to be found, namely in the divine word itself and in the authentic interpretation of that word provided by the Magisterium of the Church.’”
Pope Francis confirms this statement when he writes in Lumen fidei, “Genuine love, after the fashion of God’s love, ultimately requires truth, and the shared contemplation of the truth which is Jesus Christ enables love to become deep and enduring” (47).
This is an important aspect of dialogue. We can still listen to people with differing points of view while also rooting ourselves in the truth of the Catholic faith. The truth we profess should not be seen as a hindrance to dialogue, but as our main ally. Through this confidence in the truth we can share with others the peace that we possess, and lead others in charity to the source of all truth.
Philip Kosloski is the Digital Content Manager for the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network (USA) and is also a spirituality writer for Aleteia.org and has been featured on such places as The Huffington Post, Crisis Magazine, The Catholic Herald, Catholic Exchange, National Catholic Register and EWTN Radio.